Ontario – Most Expensive Childcare in Canada


Written by Veronika Bradley, Editor for Children’s Health and Safety Association – December 27, 2014 and Republished by Diligencia Investigative Reporting – April  2019

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) completed a study examining the most and least affordable cities for child care in Canada, including a comparison cost index for women from 25 to 34 years of age in the work force.

“Affordable child care is an important issue not just for parents, it’s important for Canada’s economy. When parents are given an affordable child care option, as in Quebec, they overwhelmingly choose to work,” says one of the study’s authors and CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald. 

The study revealed the following analytics:

Toronto has the highest fees for all age categories – infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Brampton, Ontario is the least affordable city in Canada for child care, with fees accounting for 36% of a woman’s annual income - the equivalent of four months’ wages.

34% to 35% of women’s annual income is allotted for child care fees in Toronto, London and Windsor, Ontario and Surrey, British Columbia.

Quebec’s provincial policies have low daily fees making it very reasonable for parents to place their children in child care.

Gatineau, Quebec is the most affordable city for child care services in Canada costing only 4% of a woman’s yearly income – the equivalent of two weeks’ wages.

Laval, Quebec City, Montreal and Longueil in Quebec are also among the country’s most affordable cities for child care. Women spend between 5% and 6% of their annual income on child care fees – the equivalent of about one months’ wages.


“More than three-quarters of mothers with children under the age of six are part of Canada’s labour force,” says Martha Friendly, co-author and Executive Director of the Child care Resource and Research Unit.

“But despite the high concentration of mothers who work, Canada ranks second last in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in government spending on early childhood education and care.”

The study examined child care fees in 22 Canadian cities for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.  To read the entire report, please click on The Parent Trap.


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